Nasrin is from Bangladesh. She lives in the village of Chapain, in Savar, about 25km north of the capital, Dhaka. Nasrin and her husband have two sons, their eldest, Bondhon, has Cerebral Palsy and Nasrin is his full-time carer. Her husband has been suffering from mental health issues leaving him unable to work, so the whole family relies on Nasrin to bring in an income.
Nasrin had some savings, but she used them all in the treatment of her son and husband. At her lowest point she heard about our Carers’ Project run with our partner organisation Centre for Disability in Development (CDD). The project, titled ‘Achieving Socioeconomic Inclusion of Vulnerable Family Carers in Bangladesh’, was funded by the Guernsey Overseas Aid & Development Commission. It provided 300 carers of people with mental illness or disabilities with the means and support to build sustainable livelihoods alongside their caring responsibilities, lifting themselves and their families out of poverty and into long term economic security. She heard about the work we do and decided that she wanted to be a part of it.
With the support of CDD, she gathered more carers from her community and set up a new Carers’ Group, of which she was elected president. She encouraged everyone in the group to take advantage of our livelihood initiative, which involves training in a chosen income generation activity. She herself took part in training on how to run a small business and after successfully completing this, she borrowed some money from the group – which is specifically set aside for this purpose – and started her own small business, selling clothes from her home to the local community.
Nasrin’s business did very well and she was able repay the loan to the group for other carers to then take out and fund their own income generation activities. Her success motivated others to do the same and now the group-based revolving fund is working very well and helping many carers to start to earn a living that can work around their caring responsibilities. Nasrin took a second loan from the group to upscale her business and she is now able to sell more, earning around 9,000 Bangladeshi Taka (around £77) a month.
Nasrin said that she now feels her life has dignity and she sees a ray of hope:
“The Carers Project with CDD and Carers Worldwide is a platform for carers like me to change our lives. With this income I can now fight against poverty and help my family, ensuring that they all have the chance to eat well and be healthy. I believe that one day this struggle will end, and I will see the light of hope and happiness. My hope is that this Carers’ Project will reach all parts of Bangladesh, to change the lives of other family carers in our country. This Carers’ Movement which has been started will change lives.”
If you would like to help us support more family carers like Nasrin to earn an income and transform their lives, then you can give a gift here. Thank you!